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The real diff between cheap and pricey preamps? Condenser Microphones
Old 26th March 2010
  #181
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Originally Posted by nkf View Post
I stumbled over these statements as they seem partly logical contradictions. But maybe my English is not good enough. ... 'nothing more' ... and then 'doesn't have to' ...? I don't expect English lessons here but maybe this can be a bit elaborated?
I don't know how to say it more clearly. A transient is something that comes and goes quickly. Most people think of audio transients as being loud and having lots of HF content, like a snare hit. But that's not strictly needed to satisfy the definition. So a soft kick drum hit could be considered a transient even though it's not loud and has little HF content.

Regardless, the main point is there's nothing special about "transient response" as applies to preamps. If a preamp can pass high frequencies at high levels, then by definition it has a good transient response.

--Ethan
Old 26th March 2010
  #182
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Originally Posted by Francis Vaughan View Post
However my beef is that most bench measures don't include enough real world issues in those tests.
Okay, now I see what you mean, and I agree. Though I'd rather put an RC filter in front of a preamp than use a transformer, because even the best transformers degrade the sound at least a little.

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The standard IM tests use audible frequenciees.
Yes, good point. We all know that cymbals etc have lots of ultrasonic content.

--Ethan
Old 26th March 2010
  #183
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Originally Posted by ImmortalGropher View Post
I feel that companies who do everything by hand have a better sound and use higher quality components on things
But that lumps together different issues making it more difficult to get to the truth. In some cases better components will give better sound, but often cheap parts are fine. It depends on a lot of things, including where in the circuit a part is used. But there is no inherent reason that hand-wiring should sound different than a PCB.

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I also find non-PCB gear to be more reliable in terms of wear and tear
I'd love to see someone make a computer motherboard using hand wiring that works at all, let alone is even 1/10th as reliable as a PCB version.

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Everything is subjective.
I hate to keep picking on you, but that is simply not true. "Everything" is not subjective. Whether you prefer Eric Clapton or Jeff Beck is subjective. If you'd rather eat spaghetti with mushrooms than beef stew is subjective. But when talking about audio fidelity, the parameters are well defined and totally objective.

--Ethan
Old 26th March 2010
  #184
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Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
I will say kindly quit attacking me.
Pot, meet Kettle.
Old 26th March 2010
  #185
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love your bass traps!

I think what would be seriously cool is if Ethan, the defender of economic mics,pres ,eqs, compressors et al posted a mix of his that sounded big and fat and creamy and expensive all done with his tools of choice. I gather that would be inexpensive mics and pres, an inxpensive sound card and all inexpensive plugins for mixing purposes.
I think that this would be a great way for Ethan to demonstrate all his "audio myths" theories and leave the rest of us scratching our heads.
what say?
Old 26th March 2010
  #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Regardless, the main point is there's nothing special about "transient response" as applies to preamps. If a preamp can pass high frequencies at high levels, then by definition it has a good transient response.

--Ethan
Why then, ethan, do transients sound less distorted (using the same mic) through a ZED pre than an 1814FW pre?

Or less distorted (using the same mic) through a Great River MP-1NV than when amp'd by a mackie vlz pre.

Keeping in mind even that the Great River is txformer coupled, when your assertion is txformers introduce distortion (over txformerless pre's).
Old 26th March 2010
  #187
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Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
Why then, ethan, do transients sound less distorted (using the same mic) through a ZED pre than an 1814FW pre?

Or less distorted (using the same mic) through a Great River MP-1NV than when amp'd by a mackie vlz pre.
Why says they sound less distorted? You? Can you pick out a Great River versus a Mackie every time in a blind test? Really?

Regardless, nobody is saying that all gear sounds the same. My entire point is that whatever differences there may be are easily identified and quantified.

--Ethan
Old 26th March 2010
  #188
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As for price, parts costs are not the point, it's RnD, Labor, Advertising etc. Transformer are more money than ICs, but it's not a $1000 difference.

As for sound, as always it's about small differences. Recording is the art of making thousands of small choices per record, and they do add up to something big if you know what you're doing. If you think "this pre is better than that one" for the wrong reasons, then you don't add small qualities to a greater whole, you cancel them out.

Thus it's first the guy, then the gear.
Old 26th March 2010
  #189
Good designs are built with quality materials. I use a special 3 oz high purity blank PCB material, it's a thicker trace than the usual 2 oz pcb's. I don't solder plate the traces, just the holes. High purity copper then remains on both sides of the traces without the hf skew of tin plated routes. This is used commonly in rf designs which are just faster analog signals. Thick traces with wide widths allow for greater current flow and better low end response.

For those willing to spend more, the Arlon PCB blanks are excellent and are used in areospace and VHF rf designs along with some high ender audio guys.
You will pay. I might experiment with silver plating soon, it will also be expensive.

I don't wear jewelry, I listen through it.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 26th March 2010
  #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
But that lumps together different issues making it more difficult to get to the truth. In some cases better components will give better sound, but often cheap parts are fine. It depends on a lot of things, including where in the circuit a part is used. But there is no inherent reason that hand-wiring should sound different than a PCB.



I'd love to see someone make a computer motherboard using hand wiring that works at all, let alone is even 1/10th as reliable as a PCB version.

--Ethan
The computer motherboard thing is relative, how? Anyway...

Question:

So, when Michael Joly modifies a mic by upgrading the components it's a waste of time and money because there's no real difference in sound?

There's no difference if he uses cheap copper wire or EA Lyric HG copper? No difference in sound or performance?

Better performance doesn't equal better sound?
Old 26th March 2010
  #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Why says they sound less distorted? You? Can you pick out a Great River versus a Mackie every time in a blind test? Really?

Regardless, nobody is saying that all gear sounds the same. My entire point is that whatever differences there may be are easily identified and quantified.

--Ethan
To answer the 1st part of your post...you're kidding, right? I feel surely you're just joking.

Your entire point is actually a pointless circle that just takes threads like this skidding off into some tangent in the swamps. That's why nothing is ever resolved in threads like this. One moment you assert there's probably no audible difference between a pre that uses cheap components and one that is handwired or hand crafted; then you say "differences there may be are easily identified and quantified".

It's a circle, and quite senseless to engage really. I don't know why I've even addressed you here about this issue again. Quite stupid of me actually.
Old 26th March 2010
  #192
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Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
So, when Michael Joly modifies a mic by upgrading the components it's a waste of time and money because there's no real difference in sound?
I have no idea. What exactly does he change?

--Ethan
Old 26th March 2010
  #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
I have no idea. What exactly does he change?

--Ethan
All the details are right here: OktavaMod - Shop
Old 26th March 2010
  #194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
I have no idea. What exactly does he change?

--Ethan
Hey Ethan take a look on Michael Joly's site :
OktavaMod - Affordable Boutique Microphones
Old 26th March 2010
  #195
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Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
All the details are right here: OktavaMod - Shop
at the same time ! we could won the loto ;-)
Old 26th March 2010
  #196
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Originally Posted by fossaree View Post
at the same time ! we could won the loto ;-)

I would totally be ok with that. I wouldn't mind a little lotto $$
Old 26th March 2010
  #197
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Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
All the details are right here: OktavaMod - Shop
Actually, I don't see a single technical detail on the entire page. I see lots of subjective claims such as:
"most made in just a few factories in China and plagued with a bright, spitty or "eshy" top end"

"these mods allow finger and plectrum attacks to be rendered with faster and more accurate transient detail.
Strummed rhythm work is presented with better fundamental-to-harmonic time alignment and clarity."
But I don't see anything about which components are replaced with what, or whether the mods also modify the basic circuit. So it's impossible to answer your earlier question.

--Ethan
Old 26th March 2010
  #198
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
I would totally be ok with that. I wouldn't mind a little lotto $$
then we would spend it in the most expensive 1 ch preamp in the market !
hehhehheh

Or would we buy this instead :

29 $
?


We could buy like zillions of this and get into GUINESS !
Old 26th March 2010
  #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Actually, I don't see a single technical detail on the entire page. I see lots of subjective claims such as:
"most made in just a few factories in China and plagued with a bright, spitty or "eshy" top end"

"these mods allow finger and plectrum attacks to be rendered with faster and more accurate transient detail.
Strummed rhythm work is presented with better fundamental-to-harmonic time alignment and clarity."
But I don't see anything about which components are replaced with what, or whether the mods also modify the basic circuit. So it's impossible to answer your earlier question.

--Ethan
Ethan , I'm sure soon Joly will chime in regarding his mods . That will be great for all of us and will bring some light to this discussion ;-)
Old 26th March 2010
  #200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Actually, I don't see a single technical detail on the entire page. I see lots of subjective claims such as:
"most made in just a few factories in China and plagued with a bright, spitty or "eshy" top end"

"these mods allow finger and plectrum attacks to be rendered with faster and more accurate transient detail.
Strummed rhythm work is presented with better fundamental-to-harmonic time alignment and clarity."
But I don't see anything about which components are replaced with what, or whether the mods also modify the basic circuit. So it's impossible to answer your earlier question.

--Ethan
A list of replaced components won't help you here my friend.

I'd say it's impossible to tell if Joly's PE upgrade makes a difference in sound just by looking at specs and a list of replaced components.

But it is easy enough to Hear a difference when you experience the mod first hand. What True knowledge would anyone expect to gain from a list of components replaced, right?

True knowledge comes from experience or practical application, not hypothesis or calculations or analysis.
Old 26th March 2010
  #201
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Originally Posted by starseed View Post
Great song, to be sure! Thanks for the link
no problem
Old 26th March 2010
  #202
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Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
A list of replaced components won't help you here my friend.
But you claimed about that page "All the details are right here," yet I saw nothing that could remotely be considered "details." Plus, if he said he replaces all disk ceramic caps in the signal path with polystyrene, for example, that would actually tell quite a lot.

Quote:
I'd say it's impossible to tell if Joly's PE upgrade makes a difference in sound just by looking at specs and a list of replaced components.
Yeah, maybe, and am I certainly not disputing the value of Joly's mods. As I said earlier, I have no idea. Are there any before / after audio clips on his site that compare the sound improvement in a technically valid manner?

Quote:
True knowledge comes from experience or practical application, not hypothesis or calculations or analysis.
"When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it.
But when you cannot ... your knowledge is ... meager and unsatisfactory."
--Lord Kelvin, 19th century physicist
I'm sure you've heard of Kelvin, Yes?

--Ethan
Old 26th March 2010
  #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fossaree View Post
then we would spend it in the most expensive 1 ch preamp in the market !
hehhehheh

Or would we buy this instead :

29 $
?


We could buy like zillions of this and get into GUINESS !
I have one of these. The sound great when you plug a guitar into it and take the output into a tube amp input for getting a real saturated stoner guitar sound like fu-manchu or Clutch
Old 26th March 2010
  #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

I have no idea

--Ethan

That is not true. You are very full of ideas on the Chello and video editing systems.
Your chello vid is full of cool ideas. Very creative and entertaining. Just like your posts
Old 26th March 2010
  #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
But you claimed about that page "All the details are right here," yet I saw nothing that could remotely be considered "details." Plus, if he said he replaces all disk ceramic caps in the signal path with polystyrene, for example, that would actually tell quite a lot.



Yeah, maybe, and am I certainly not disputing the value of Joly's mods. As I said earlier, I have no idea. Are there any before / after audio clips on his site that compare the sound improvement in a technically valid manner?

"When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it.
But when you cannot ... your knowledge is ... meager and unsatisfactory."
--Lord Kelvin, 19th century physicist
I'm sure you've heard of Kelvin, Yes?

--Ethan
He does replace the caps.

There are few before/after clips that I'm aware of. As a customer I'm not concerned with things because I've already experienced the difference myself but there's an MK219 before and after called Acoustic Guitar / MK-219 session here: OktavaMod - Affordable Boutique Microphones

"Numbers, my friend, are a boring mental straight jacket." TurboJets

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."
Albert Einstein

I'm sure you've heard of Einstein, Yes?

"A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers." Plato

I'm sure you've heard of Plato, Yes?

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." Albert Einstein

"Information is not knowledge." Albert Einstein

"There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there." Albert Einstein

Old 26th March 2010
  #206
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I have less than average listening experience and next to no electronics knowledge. So I'm gonna have to make do with a bit of that simple logic that's helped me in the past.

The price=quality=esoterism crowd says that you can't make cheap, good sounding equipment. It can't be done because:

1. - You need a genius auteur to design the electronics
2. - The cost of Hitmaking-grade components will drive the price up
3. - Chinese people just don't have the passion needed to work a soldering iron.

1. It seems to me that revered vintage discrete circuits would be a real easy to reverse engineer. I don't know anything about electronics, but to me it seems you could just pop the lid and look inside. I would surprise me if no cheapo company has thought of this, maybe made some cosmetic (electronically speaking) changes to avoid any patent issues, and made the product their own.

2. Come on, even the heftiest set of resistors, capacitors and transformers would add up to the prices that boutique equipment is commanding. Let's not save here!

3. Um, I don't know any Chinese people, so I'm not really qualified to comment.

But if I may go out on a ledge and make a hypothesis that you could somehow make an underpaid third-world worker manufacture this item correctly, it seems to me you'd end up with high-end equipment for mid-"end" (at most) money!

Is it possible that I'm the first one to think of this, and that's why cheap gear sounds cheap?

Sven
Old 27th March 2010
  #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
...when talking about audio fidelity, the parameters are well defined and totally objective.
--Ethan
Mr Winer, I have been reading your posts, technical dissertations/answers on GS with interest, and sometimes bewilderment. I would like to ask how you define "audio fidelity"?

Thanks
Elevteros
Old 27th March 2010
  #208
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Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
there's an MK219 before and after called Acoustic Guitar / MK-219 session here: OktavaMod - Affordable Boutique Microphones
I'm a huge fan of Joe Harter! I used one of his tunes (with his permission) in a silly kitty video I made, and I love everything he does. In this case the Before and After recordings seem way too different to be due to only changing capacitors etc.

--Ethan
Old 27th March 2010
  #209
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Originally Posted by Elevteros View Post
I would like to ask how you define "audio fidelity"?
The definition for audio fidelity is the same as for any other type of fidelity. From Wikipedia:
"Fidelity also denotes how accurate a copy is to its source."
The basic parameters needed to assess audio fidelity are outlined in my Audiophoolery article, and my more recent AES Audio Myths Workshop video explains and demonstrates this is great depth.

--Ethan
Old 27th March 2010
  #210
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
The definition for audio fidelity is the same as for any other type of fidelity. From Wikipedia:
"Fidelity also denotes how accurate a copy is to its source."
The basic parameters needed to assess audio fidelity are outlined in my Audiophoolery article, and my more recent AES Audio Myths Workshop video explains and demonstrates this is great depth.

--Ethan
So , sometimes an audio called Hi-end , it's not necessarily all about fidelity ... because some hi-end stuff sounds "better" (coloured,pleasant,3d whatever they say...) than it's for real .

Which means there's no fidelity ...


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